Written Oct 23, 2013 1:42pm by Cindy McMurry
It’s been a while since I’ve written, but not because I haven’t been thinking or busy. Therapy is going well. I’m starting to go from assisted to unassisted movement and lots of core work. It’s important that I have enough core strength to manage balance and falls because I can’t really “catch” myself with my arms if I fall. I’m also driving… just a little for now. It’s a lot of work re-learning how to manage the steering wheel, but we are moving forward. I’m so grateful!
John and I have been listening to a course on “Books that Changed History.” One of the books the lecturer chose was “Exodus.” I’ve been chewing on it every since. I think sometimes we like to look for the easy answers to our challenges and wish the journey wasn’t so difficult. Many in our family and several friends are facing painful and challenging journeys. I’d like to share with you what has been an encouragement to me the last few weeks.
Moses was going about his business, doing his job when he saw the burning bush. The Lord told him to remove his shoes, he was standing on Holy Ground. And then the Lord proceeded to explain to Moses that he’d heard the cries of the Israelites and he was going to deliver them out of bondage. And the journey began…
When thinking about this, it struck me that God could have just done it. There did not need to be a process to the deliverance from bondage. So, Why was there?
The journey was long. It was complicated. It was difficult. It was frustrating. It was painful. It was draining. It was work. Even though the Israelites were desperate for deliverance, they also were uncomfortable going through the process. Sound familiar?
I’m coming to realize that when we face difficulties or in this case, bondage; the journey, the deliverance shapes us. It has purpose. We move from one’s who are stuck in one place and hopefully arrive at a place where we become better, fuller, more gracious, with a clearer understanding, a more compassionate people. If we allow it, this journey may be a holy journey, that leads to the promised land.
When I heard the news that I had a recurrence of cancer there was a part of me that just wanted to stand still and do nothing. I mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I was frightened. Information seemed to coming at the speed of a bullet and yet I was moving in slow motion. I did not want to change if change meant losing mobility… or even worse. I had cancer and I was terrified. If I did have it removed, I might lose my arm and mobility. If I didn’t have it removed, I would eventually lose my life. Fear became bondage for me… even if only briefly. Then we had a burning bush moment, our friend Jerry spoke at church and we believed we could push onward.
In the past few weeks we’ve had many family and friends have unexpected journeys put before them. Some of them are still in shock and are struggling to place one foot in front of the other. Others are laboring and pushing against that which could consume them, fighting against the pressure to give in. Some are pressing forward through depression, some through grief, some through sickness, some through loss of relationships, some through loss of income, some through addiction, some through loss of identity, some through fear, some through demons that have tormented them for years. But, for all of us, it can be a holy journey that shapes us and refines our character and our spirit.
It seems to me that part of the journey is also the decision about our attitude. Will we allow bitterness, anger, regret and misery to rule us or will we choose to plow through those things and be further refined? We also have a tendency to get frustrated with those who are wrestling with things that are destructive. But as we would want for ourselves, they need us to extend to them grace and understanding.
In the past week, we had an event that took our breath away. It completely caught us off guard and frankly broke the hearts of many. But through that we learned a few things. First: There but by the grace of God go I. Second: The journey ahead will be difficult, but taking the first step forward propels you toward deliverance and a holy journey it will be. Third: Pain, Grief, Loss, Bondage of any kind, is not exclusive to the person at the center of it. Your family and friends will have the opportunity to be shaped by the journey as well.
When we reflect on our journey from the past few months, we’re in awe of how the Lord has used this time to shape us. We pray for each of you as you walk your journey on holy ground.
We love you,
Cindy and John